Like symbolism, decadence puts forth the idea that the function of literature is to evoke impressions and 'correspondences', rather than to realistically depict the world. ... the decadent aestheticized decay and took pleasure in perversity. In decadent literature, sickness is preferable to health, not only because sickness was regarded as more interesting, but because sickness was construed as subversive, as a threat to the very fabric of society. By embracing the marginal, the unhealthy and the deviant, the decadents attacked bourgeois life, which they perceived as the chief enemy of art.
She wasted and grew so thin that she no longer was a little girl, but the shadow of a little girl. The flame of her life flickered so faintly that it appeared sufficient to blow at it to extinguish it. Stas understood that death did not have to wait for a third attack to take her and he expected it any day or any hour.
The cure for our modern maladies is dirt under the fingernails and the feel of thick grass between the toes. The cure for our listlessness is to be out within the invigorating wind. The cure for our uselessness is to take back up our stewardship; for it is not that there has been no work to be done, we simply have not been attending to it.
For this will cure him that is sick, and rouse him that is in dumps; one that has loved, it will remember of it; one that has not, it will instruct. For there was never any yet that wholly could escape love, and never shall there be any, never so long as beauty shall be, never so long as eyes can see. But help me that God to write the passions of others; and while I write, keep me in my own right wits.
All this is simply to say that all life is interrelated. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in this world, no man can be totally rich even if he has a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people cannot expect to live more than twenty or thirty years, no man can be totally healthy, even if he just got a clean bill of health from the finest clinic in America. Strangely enough, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.